The latest version of Google’s mobile operating system, known simply as Android 10, is now available on Pixel phones and will be coming to partner devices this year. It features a number of noteworthy additions and improvements as highlighted below.
Android 10 features a new gesture navigation system that allows you to swipe your way through the UI. This eliminates the need for dedicated navigation buttons, virtual or otherwise. “After switching, you won’t want to go back,” said Dave Burke, VP of engineering at Android.
Google’s new mobile OS also introduces Dark Theme. Users will be able to enable it for their entire phone or in specific apps. Burke touts that it’s easier on the eyes and better for battery life – true statements on both counts.
Another new feature, Live Caption, automatically captions videos, podcasts and audio messages across any app and will be available starting on Pixel phones this fall.
Android 10 additionally focuses heavily on privacy. Users will be able to limit location data sharing to apps they are actively using. You can also receive notifications if an app you aren’t actively using is accessing your location and decide whether or not to continue sharing.
Speaking of notifications, Android 10 lets you control when and where notifications can reach you. Marking notifications as “Silent,” for example, will prevent them from making noise or appearing on your lockscreen.
Google last month announced a new branding strategy for Android, abandoning the dessert-themed codenames that it had employed for more than a decade.